VCS Approves New IFM Methodology to Protect Areas Slated for Logging

GreenCollar Climate Solutions IFM Methodology opens avenue to raise carbon finance for forests under threat from commercial logging

15 February 2011 – A new methodology to measure, account and issue greenhouse gas credits from projects that protect forest areas slated for logging has been approved for use under the VCS Program.

Developed by GreenCollar Climate Solutions, the methodology is the first approved by VCS that uses Improved Forest Management (IFM) practices to protect forest areas threatened by commercial logging – known as Logged to Protected Forest (LtPF) methodologies.

The methodology can be used to measure and calculate greenhouse gas credits from projects that protect areas of forest that would be logged in the absence of carbon finance. Projects must first demonstrate that there is planned timber harvest for the area.

The GHG emissions that would have been caused by logging, in the absence of carbon finance, are estimated based on historical rates of harvesting or on common practice in the region. Total net greenhouse gas emission credits are calculated by adding up the metric tons of carbon sequestered through ongoing forest growth and then subtracting any emissions resulting from forest disturbance.

“This approach offers an important new way to raise financing for the protection of potentially huge swathes of vulnerable forest,” said VCS CEO David Antonioli. “This is the first methodology approved under VCS to provide an alternate source of financing to commercial logging, which is a major driver of forest destruction, and providing carbon finance is critical to protecting these areas.”

The methodology is called the Methodology for Improved Forest Management: Conversion from Logged to Protected Forest, and it was assessed by two independent auditors under the VCS Methodology Approval Process. Approval means projects may use the methodology to account for emission reductions and removals and to issue GHG credits, or VCUs, under the VCS Program.

The first independent auditor to review the methodology was Rainforest Alliance. The second was DNV, contracted directly by the VCS Association. All assessment reports and other documents are available on the VCS web site.